Exclusive: Handy launches innovative products as it celebrates 125 years

Published on
March 4, 2019

As it celebrates its 125th anniversary this year, Handy is rolling out innovative seafood entrees and apps at Seafood Expo North America, taking place in Boston, Massachusetts, from 17 to 19 March.

The Salisbury, Maryland-based supplier is unveiling a frozen Key West Shrimp Burger at SENA19, and will launch two new frozen apps this summer: Nashville Hot Shrimp and Togarashi Shrimp.

The Key West Shrimp Burger was developed after a club store chain requested a burger made with shrimp from the United States. The burgers are available branded or private label.

“We made a very good burger with whole shrimp - not just fragments - which provides a much better taste and texture,” Terrence Conway, executive chairman of Handy, told SeafoodSource.

The soon-to-be-available Nashville Hot Shrimp app includes shrimp dipped in a cayenne-infused buttermilk batter with crunchy panko breading. The Togarashi Shrimp is breaded and coated in a traditional Togarashi Japanese spice blend.

Both 10-ounce apps are geared toward a wide range of demographic groups, Conway said.

“People want flavor in their seafood and these two products deliver that. We are seeing demand from retailers [for this type of product]," Conway said.

Retailers are also ordering private label versions of the two apps, Conway said.

At the beginning of this year, Handy also rolled out a Foodservice Crab Cake Kit, after a successful launch of its Crab Cake Kit for consumers at retail last year. The Foodservice Crab Cake Kits, which contain a little more than 50 percent fresh crab meat, can be used by retailers’ deli sections and for custom orders, Conway said. A case of the Foodservice Crab Cake Kit includes two, one-pound cans of Crab Cake Combo, two crab cake sauce packets, and two seasoning mix packets.

Handy’s Crab Cake Kits, sold at grocery stores and on Handy’s website, have also been popular, according to Conway. Each kit, which retails for a suggested USD 21.99 (EUR 19.32), includes an eight-ounce crab meat blend, special sauce, and dry seasoning mix and makes four crab cakes or 24 mini crab cakes.

“Handy created a crab cake kit so you can easily make Maryland-style crab cakes in your own kitchen,” the supplier said on its website. 

Handy has also realized healthy sales of its “Power Foods” line, launched early last year, which include salmon, high protein vegetables such as broccoli, along with nutrients such as chia seeds. The items are high in protein and low in fat.

The Power Foods products, Salmon Power Burgers, and Salmon Power Bites, are popular because plant-based eating is a leading trend for 2019, Handy Marketing Director Maureen Johnson told SeafoodSource.

“Traditional value-added seafood typically only meets the convenience factor, but lacks any sort of plant-based nutrition,” she said.

The combination of sustainable seafood with high-protein vegetables is going to be “on trend” for at least the next five years, Terrence Johnson added.

Handy is the oldest seafood supplier in the United States, and has expanded beyond America to Europe, Southeast Asia, and other regions throughout the years.

“It has been committed family ownership all the way through, we have kept our quality standards really high for 125 years." Johnson said. "It has kept us trusted for 125 years.” 

Contributing Editor

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